How to tell if bell peppers are bad?

Food Storage – How long can you keep…

Tips

  • How long do raw bell peppers last in the fridge? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions – after purchasing, keep bell peppers refrigerated at all times.
  • To maximize the shelf life of raw bell peppers, store in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of refrigerator.
  • Green bell peppers will usually last longer than orange or red bell peppers.
  • How long do raw bell peppers last in the refrigerator? Properly stored, bell peppers will usually keep well for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Do you need to wash raw bell peppers before eating them? Yes, bell peppers should be thoroughly washed in running water before eating.
  • How long do raw bell peppers last after they have been sliced or chopped? Chopped raw bell peppers will last for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • How long do bell peppers last in the fridge once they have been cooked? Cooked bell peppers will usually stay good for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator and 10 to 12 months in the freezer.
  • Can you freeze bell peppers? Yes, to freeze: (1) Slice or chop bell peppers (2) Spread in a single layer on cookie tray (3) Freeze, then promptly transfer frozen bell peppers from cookie tray to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and return to freezer.
  • How long do bell peppers last in the freezer? Properly stored, they will maintain best quality for about 10 to 12 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only – bell peppers that have been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How to tell if bell peppers are bad or spoiled? Bell peppers that are spoiling will typically become soft and discolored; discard any bell peppers that have an off smell or appearance.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please

Bell Pepper FAQs: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

Every day, people ask us dozens of questions about the food that we grow in our greenhouses. This month, we decided to answer your most hard-pressing questions about Bell Peppers. Our experts delivered with top-notch answers to questions about Bell Pepper health benefits, color, storage, and growth!

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Bell Peppers

What are the health benefits of eating Bell Peppers?

Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits—they’re packed with vitamins and low in calories! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.

Along with being full of nutrients, Bell Peppers deliver a satisfying and low-calorie crunch with every bite. Try eating snappy Bell Peppers instead of high-calorie chips and crackers with dips like hummus or salsa!

Why are Bell Peppers different colors?

Even in nature, Bell Peppers change from Green to their destined color as they ripen. This is because, just like with Tomatoes or Cucumbers, there are many different varieties of Bell Peppers. Some varieties turn from Green to Red, others turn from Green to Orange, and still others change from Green to Yellow. The most popular colors are Red, Orange, and Yellow, but there are even Purple Bell Peppers out there!

At NatureFresh™, we use over five different varieties of Bell Pepper seeds to produce Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers. The most popular color of Bell Pepper that we grow is Red; however, the Orange Bell Pepper varieties that we grow are widely considered to be our sweetest!

Are Green Bell Peppers really just unripe Red Bell Peppers?

Some of them, yes. But some of them could be unripe Orange or Yellow Bell Peppers! A Green Bell Pepper is a prematurely picked Bell Pepper of any variety. This means that there is no such thing as a Green Bell Pepper variety!

By being prematurely picked, Green Bell Peppers do not receive all the natural sugars that a Pepper would normally get from the ripening process. This is why Green Bell Peppers have a more bitter taste compared to Red, Orange, or Yellow Bell Peppers – they are picked before they can start to get sweet!

Which color of Bell Pepper is the healthiest?

Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers have very similar health benefits to one another. Even though they are different colors, they all have similar amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C in them. Red Bell Peppers also contain lycopene, an antioxidant or carotenoid that helps fight free radicals in your body. Learn more about lycopene and its amazing health benefits here. Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers are also rich in carotenoids.

One thing to note is that all three colors of Bell Peppers that we grow have substantially more nutritional value than Green Bell Peppers – this is because Green Bell Peppers are picked before the ripening process is complete and all the nutrients and natural sugars enter the Pepper.

How long does it take for Bell Pepper plants to grow?

Just like Tomatoes and Cucumbers, growing Bell Peppers in a greenhouse is very different than growing them in a garden.

From planting to harvest, it takes about 12 weeks for our first batch of Bell Peppers to grow in the greenhouse. This is a longer period of time than you would see in a garden setting, but the difference is that while a Bell Pepper plant in a garden will only bear a handful of Peppers, a Bell Pepper plant in a greenhouse will produce roughly forty Bell Peppers in one season!

With a longer growing season and perfect climate, greenhouse-grown Bell Pepper plants will yield substantially more Bell Peppers than garden-grown plants.

How do you know when Bell Peppers are ready to pick?

You know that a Bell Pepper is ready to pick when it has ripened to full color. This means that there is minimal to no green color left on the skin of the Bell Pepper.

By letting a Bell Pepper ripen fully, you are also getting all the nutritional benefits from it! That is exactly why we pick all our Bell Peppers (and Tomatoes and Cucumbers, for that matter) when they are fully vine-ripened – we want to make sure that you and your family are getting all the health benefits you possibly can from the food you eat!

What should I look for when choosing a Bell Pepper?

When choosing a Bell Pepper, you want to find one without any sunburn spots, shriveling, or signs of decay (basically, if a Pepper looks like it is on its ‘last leg’, you may want to pass on it). A common misconception is that scarring is a bad defect, but scarring does not affect the quality, flavor, or freshness of Peppers!

Many people think that Bell Peppers with two or three lobes aren’t as good – this is also false! If the Bell Pepper doesn’t have the above-mentioned defects, a two or three lobe Pepper is just as healthy and nutritious a choice as a four lobe Pepper.

It’s important to think about what you’re using your Bell Peppers for when choosing them at the grocery store. If you are cutting them up for a salad, you don’t need a pristine-looking Pepper. However, if you’re using them to cook Stuffed Peppers, a four lobe Pepper is your best bet.

Do Bell Peppers need to be refrigerated?

Yes – as soon as you bring your Bell Peppers home, make sure you put them in one of your fridge’s crisper drawers. Your raw Bell Peppers will last between one and two weeks in your fridge – just make sure you store them dry!

Cut Bell Peppers will not last as long – about two to three days. Make sure you only cut your Bell Peppers as you need them to keep them at their freshest (and to decrease the potential for food waste in your kitchen)!

For more storage tips about Bell Peppers and the other produce that we grow (including Tomatoes and Cucumbers), see our Veggie Storage Guide!

What are some of the best ways to enjoy or prepare Bell Peppers?

Bell Peppers are extremely versatile – you can enjoy them grilled, sautéed, in soups or sauces, and even raw! Don’t limit yourself to eating Green or Red Bell Peppers, which are the most commonly eaten colors. Orange and Yellow Bell Peppers are just as sweet and provide a fun splash of color to any meal or snack!

Everyone knows that Stuffed Bell Peppers are a delicious meal option, but don’t limit yourself to just stuffing them – Bell Peppers can be a fun addition to so many other great recipes. Try something different like our Bell Pepper Lentil Dip or Red Bell Pepper Coulis Crepes. Get creative and take advantage of the versatility of this superfood!

Make sure you check out these 12 Unique Ways to Prepare Peppers for more great inspiration!

Are Bell Peppers vegetables or fruits?

Along with Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Bell Peppers are one of those foods that are always contentious – are they a fruit or a veggie? Although they are commonly considered a vegetable, Bell Peppers are technically fruits because they contain seeds!

When people think of fruits, they almost always think of apples, oranges, pears, or peaches – this is because a common misconception is that fruits only grow on trees. But a fruit is any produce item that has seeds! So, since Bell Peppers have seeds, they are technically fruits.

Find more produce facts by reading our frequently asked questions about Tomatoes and Cucumbers.

Pimento Pepper: A Mild Surprise!

It’s the chili hidden in plain sight…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 100 – 500
Jalapeño reference point: 5 to 80 times milder
Origin: Unknown
Products and seeds: Pimento pepper on Amazon

You may not realize how often you eat products that contain pimento peppers. There are so many varieties of products that use this chili, due to its sweetness and low heat. And that’s part of what makes it special. The pimento pepper is everywhere, sometimes in nooks of the kitchen you don’t even realize.

How mild are pimento peppers?

About as mild as any hot pepper can be, as a short answer. They barely tick on the Scoville scale, coming in between 100 and 500 Scoville heat units, so the heat is really a small step up from the no heat of the bell peppers. Against our jalapeño reference point, the pimento averages around 40 times milder.

What else are pimento peppers called?

They’ve got a few popular names. Pimentos are also referred to as pimientos, which is Spanish for peppers. It’s also widely known as the cherry pepper because, well, its shape is much like a large cherry. Some people also say it’s shaped like a heart.

What does a pimento pepper taste like?

These are sweeter than you might expect; sweeter in taste than a bell pepper. Overall it’s a more succulent pepper than the bell, and that, along with the mild heat, has given it a lot of popularity in a wide variety of products.

What types of products do you find pimento pepper in?

This may be the most amazing thing about this chili: It’s in so many more places than you may realize. If you haven’t put it together, the pimento pepper is the exact same pimento that you’ll find stuffed in olives. Olives stuffed with pimento peppers are of course very popular around the globe and every supermarket carries them.

There’s also the pimento loaf–a deli sandwich meat that’s also highly popular. And who can forget pimento cheese? That’s a major favorite in the southern United States. It gives the cheese a sweetness and a slight jolt of heat.

What many don’t realize is that the popular spice paprika is actually made from dried pimento pepper. So you may have used this chili more often than you think as so many recipes call for a dash of that spice. It’s a staple in any well-stocked kitchen.

You’ll also come across pimento peppers pickled, canned, diced, and of course fresh. The cherry pepper has become a top alternative to the bell pepper for lots of dishes, especially salads and pizzas. They’re also a top choice for making deep-fried poppers–peppers that are stuffed with cheese, coated with breading, and then deep-fried to create a golden crispy shell. Really there are lots of ways to use this chili. Try using it in your favorite recipe that calls for a bell pepper to add a surprisingly unique twist to the dish.

Where can you buy pimento peppers?

Your local grocer may carry pimento peppers in the fresh vegetable aisle, though you may need to call around, and a specialty store (like an Italian market) may need to be searched out. But you’re sure to still find all sorts of pimento-based products around those aisles, including canned varieties, though they may be cheaper online. If you like the idea of growing pimento peppers, then you’ll want to head to your local garden store or shop online for seeds and plants.

So no matter what you call this chili–cherry pepper, pimento, or pimiento–it’s got surprising legs in the kitchen. Use it to spice up your dishes in dried paprika form, and don’t be afraid to experiment with this pepper fresh in dishes. The mild heat and succulence of the pimento pepper is sure to make you a fan.

Products from Amazon.com

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Pimento Peppers (aka Cherry Peppers) – All About Them

The pimento pepper (aka pimiento pepper) is a small heart shaped sweet pepper with a mild flavor. It is also called the cherry pepper.

Scoville Heat Units: 100 – 500 SHU

If you’ve ever tried southern pimento cheese, or enjoyed pimento stuffed green olives, you have already tried the pimento pepper in pickled form.

The pimento pepper (often spelled pimiento) is also called the cherry pepper. It measures 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Pimiento translates to “pepper” from Spanish. See the photo below. It is bright red and shaped like a heart. You might be most familiar with the pimento as the famous pepper used to stuff olives.

Interestingly, both “pimento” from Portuguese and “pimiento” from Spanish derive from the Latin “pigmentum”, which means “pigment”. The word, pimento, became used as a sort of general term for peppers long ago and even more generalized to include black pepper.

Pimento (Cherry Pepper) Flavor and Taste

Pimento peppers (or cherry peppers) are not spicy, but rather mild, sweet and succulent. While they are typically pickled, they can also be enjoyed fresh from the garden. Use them as you might use bell peppers, in foods requiring the Cajun Holy Trinity or perhaps a good sofrito recipe.

There are some varieties with heat, including the Santa Fe Grande and Floral Gem varieties.

They are fun for stuffing, as they are good enough in size, and also great for dehydrating and grinding into chili powders.

In fact, the common spice, paprika, is made from dried pimento peppers and other other mild or sweet peppers.

How Hot is the Pimento Pepper?

Pimento peppers are some of the mildest peppers around, measuring only 500 – 1,000 Scoville Units on the Scoville Scale.

Compare that with the popular jalapeno pepper, which measures in at 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville Heat Units, the hottest pimento would be about 5 times milder than an average jalapeno.

For heat and flavor comparison, see the Piquillo Pepper, which are different in shape, but similar in many other ways.

Pimento PEPPER SEEDS/Cherry Pepper Seeds

If you’re looking for seeds, check out my Chili Pepper Seeds resources page, or you can purchase pimento pepper seeds at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!).

Enjoy, and happy growing.

When to Pick Pimentos

You can normally find pimentos from late summer through early fall during growing season. Pick them when they are deep, deep red color and very firm to the touch. They can be stored or preserved like any other peppers.

Cooking with Pimentos

As mentioned, pimento peppers are great for stuffing, pickling, drying and daily cooking, but I love them as well for sauces. Stuffed Cherry Peppers and Pickled Cherry Peppers are very popular and the most common recipes.

Try some of these sauce or dip recipes with your harvest of pimentos.

  • Muhamarra (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)
  • Romesco Sauce
  • Peperonata Recipe
  • Ajvar
  • Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

What’s a Good Pimento Pepper Substitute?

It depends on what you’re using them for. If you’re looking for pickled pimentos and can’t find them, you can use any other pickled pepper that you can find. Pickled red peppers would be ideal, but pickled green peppers are good, too.

Try pickling your own peppers for a quick fix.

For fresh pimentos, bell peppers are probably the easiest to find as a substitute, but any sweeter red pepper variety will do, such as the piquillo pepper, corno di toro pepper, or any Italian sweet pepper.

Mike’s Personal Experience

I’ve grown pimento peppers (cherry peppers) in our home garden and had no issues. The plants were not fussy and grew easily. They were somewhat productive and I was able to use them in a variety of ways, from general daily cooking to stuffing to drying.

I even used some of them to make Patty a mild “hot” sauce that she used up pretty quickly.

Check out my List of Mild and Sweet Peppers for more options.

If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line anytime, or leave a comment in the comment box below. Happy to help. I appreciate it!

NOTE: This post was updated on 11/5/19 to include new photo and information. It was originally published on 9/20/13.

50 SharesRoasted red peppers or pimentos, the result is still a zesty bit of cheesy goodness.

Often times I use this space to offer advice, tips and general knowledge on a wide range of culinary tidbits.

Usually the information passed on is banal, routine stuff. It is useful and necessary but not often does it require a lot of research.

Like how long to fry a turkey (3 minutes per pound) or how much crawfish to figure per person at a party (figure a pound per person, a pound and a half if you’re on Dauphin Island).

But it is not often that we are called to offer advice on a topic where the stakes are so high.

Just last week, I received an e-mail from a reader seeking my assistance in a matter of grave importance. The topic of disagreement was pimentos.

She wrote, “Below you will find a recipe for Lyn’s Pimiento cheese. I asked her why it was so named since there are no pimiento peppers in the recipe.”

Her colleague claimed that any “sweet, red pepper would qualify as a pimento pepper.”

And what made this particular squabble so important was what was riding on the outcome of my judgment.

“Is this so? One adult beverage rides on the answer,” she said.

Here is the recipe, which barring any other information, looks pretty much like a fairly good recipe for pimento cheese.

Lyn’s Pimento Cheese

8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

6-8 tablespoons mayonnaise

2-3 teaspoons Lea & Perrin’s

7 ounces (or more to taste) roasted red peppers, finely chopped

Pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)

6-8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (finely grated)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until combined.

It is great for sandwiches or as dip/spread with crackers.

To settle the dispute I put on my referee’s cap and opened the only truly authoritative reference guide to all things food related.

According to The Food Lover’s Companion, pimento (also spelled pimiento) is “a large red, heart-shaped sweet pepper that measures 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.”

What I didn’t know was that much of the pimento pepper crop is used to make paprika. I learned something today.

But here’s the difference between pimentos and any other red peppers. “The flesh of the pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic that that of the red bell pepper.”

To settle the wager, I find that the ruling must go in favor of the plaintiff. Not all roasted red peppers are, in fact, pimentos.

Pimentos are sold in those tiny jars and roasted red peppers are most often sold in larger containers. They are also the tiny bit of red that you find in olives.

To the untrained palate (like mine) the difference probably would be minimal and in a recipe like pimento and cheese would be hardly noticeable.

So claim your one adult beverage. But I would also recommend that you serve a platter of pimento and cheese on crackers as appetizers.

And I’ll be in touch later to settle up for my attorney’s fee. I will, as advertised, work for beer. In this case I’ll add pimento and cheese to the bill.

(Contact David Holloway at P.O. Box 2488, Mobile, AL 36652 or call 219-5682. Send e-mail to [email protected])

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